My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


From Farce to Ass (pardon the French)

I saw this in this week's edition of Sports Illustrated (I can't find the link right now):

CANCELED by Georgia football fans, a campaign to pay for the father of a Boise State player to travel from Iraq to Athens, GA, to watch the teams play on Sept. 3. Several members of an Internet message board for Georgia fans took up a collection to raise $2,700 for Dan Miller, the father of Boise State guard Tad Miller, after reading about him in a newspaper. (Dan is a retired police lieutenant who's training police officers in Baghdad.) But NCAA compliance officers at both schools quashed the idea because the payment would violate NCAA rules that bar athletes and their families from receiving special benefits from fans or boosters. "Makes no sense to me," said Sam Hendrix, the Georgia fan who launched the campaign. "It just hits me that . . .[the NCAA has] lost touch with reality."

A couple weeks ago I blogged about the silliness of the NCAA barring the use of "offensive" Native American mascots--but only for the playoffs--and ended by saying "George Orwell, phone home." And that was before I even knew about the presence of "compliance officers" at each school. Is it just me, or does that remind anybody about the old "political officers" that the Communist Party put on every naval boat and in every unit and organization of the old Soviet Union.

I tell you what: I used to think it was ridiculous for young student-athletes to skip a free education to turn pro as quickly as possible. Now, with all the garbage that this NGO rains down on the student-athlete and the programs, I'm not at all sure I would ever ENcourage a young man with professional-level ability to play in college. Get your money up front, come back for your education later when you don't have a full-time job (playing sports) to maintain and a "compliance officer" breathing down your neck.

By the way, that sure was a nice thing those Georgia fans were doing for an athlete from an opposition team. I might just have to root for the old Bulldogs this season.

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